The Good: The UH defense had an excellent outing, forcing four turnovers and holding the Pirates to six points (and two! rushing yards) until late in the game. The defense recorded 12 tackles for loss, the most in a single game since 2005. Ed Oliver finally got through the double- and triple-teams that have been drawn up against him all season to notch his first two sacks of the season, the first of which resulted in a turnover and UH touchdown. Meanwhile, UH quarterback D'Eriq King threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns and had no interceptions. He rushed for a score as well.
The Bad: The Cougars played sloppy football at times, with poor tackling, dropped passes, three sacks surrendered, and way too many penalties (12 for 115 yards). One penalty negated what would have been a fourth interception for the Coogs. Another penalty killed a UH drive in the 3rd quarter.
The Ugly: While this isn't an excuse for all the Cougars' penalties - even Major Applewhite is concerned about them - the officiating for this game was nevertheless very poor. A targeting penalty that resulted in the ejection of UH safety Gleson Sprewell in the second half was truly ticky-tack. And this bizarre booth reversal of a spot (that benefitted ECU) was simply incompetent.
What It Means: Halfway through the season, the Cougars are 5-1 overall, 2-0 in conference and the only undefeated team in the American's western division.
Next up for the Cougars is a visit to Annapolis, Maryland to face Navy.